Racing Santander – The key to Real Mallorca’s safety
Real Racing Club v Real Mallorca
La Liga, Jornada #32
Thursday 12th April 2012, 8pm kick off BST
Real Racing Club de Santander are a club in trouble. Like most teams in Spain they have severe financial difficulties but Racing are spiralling out of control. Following Sporting’s dramatic comeback against Levante, Racing find themselves propping up the rest of the table seven points adrift of safety and twelve points adrift of Real Mallorca with seven games to go.
Mallorca still have a job to do to. Despite going four games without defeat, which involved a vital away point at the Mestalla and an even more important three points at home to Atlético Madrid, Caparrós side have only picked up one point from the last possible nine. Two of those were understandable defeats to Barça and Sevilla, but the Iberostar Estadi was the stage for an incredibly frustrating 0-0 draw with Granada last weekend.
‘Safety is there,’ proclaimed veteran midfielder Pep Martí. ‘And although a victory would not make it mathematical, it would be a giant step.’
This sentiment is echoed by former Racing goalkeeper Dudu Aouate. ‘We know that there is no turning back and that every game now is a final. In Santander, we will find a Racing team that has run out of options.’
Captain José Nunes and striker Álvaro Giménez both return to the team after injury, but Mallorca will be without Pep Marti and Chico Flores who have both picked up thigh injuries and be out for around two weeks. Caparrós was angry with the latter, who published news of his injury on Twitter before were even aware.
Caparrós will also be without Kevin García, who is yet to return to full fitness following injury. But the Andalusian has called B team striker Abdón Prats into his bumper 22-man squad for the games against Racing and Athletic Club.
Cendrós – Nunes – Ramis – Cáceres
Pereira – Tissone – Tejera – Castro
Víctor – Hemed
Usually Sergio Tejera would be the favourite to replace Pep Martí in central midfield, but his poor performance when he came on for the 36-year-old against Granada make work against him. The former Chelsea man is not yet match fit following his spell on the sidelines. If Caparrós does decide this 90 minutes is too soon, then Tomás Pina will be ready to step into the picture.
The other big question mark lies around whether Álvaro Giménez will walk back into the starting eleven following his absence at the weekend. Due to his relative inexperience, we will perhaps see Víctor Casadesús and Tomer Hemed start up front together – but don’t be too surprised if we see a substitute appearance. The chances of Ogunjimi featuring are slim, and that raises question marks as to why Abdón has been called up as well when the B team are entering a critical stage of the season.
Goalkeepers: Aouate, Calatayud.
Defenders: Cendrós, Zuiverloon, Nunes, Ramis, Martí Crespí, Cáceres, Bigas.
Midfielders: Pina, Joao Victor, Tissone, Pereira, Tejera, Nsue, Alfaro, Castro.
Strikers: Víctor, Hemed, Ogunjimi, Álvaro, Abdón.